Australian member committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (Aus-CSCAP)



The 52nd Aus-CSCAP meeting will be held in Melbourne in the week of 11 November 2019. Details will be provided at a later date.

Aus-CSCAP notes that Co-Chair, Professor Tony Milner AM, recently received two honours in Malaysia, both relating to the work he has done in regional relationship-building - including through CSCAP. The first was the prestigious Malaysian ‘Merdeka’ Award.

This was given for both his scholarship on Malaysia and his "role in fostering international cooperation". The 2017 Merdeka Awards were presented on 11 September by His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Perak.

The second award was an Honorary Doctorate in the Humanities.

This was presented at the Convocation Ceremony of the University of Malaya on October 21. Again mention was made of Tony's work with CSCAP, Asialink and various Australian Government initiatives in the region. Few foreigners have received either of these awards and we congratulate Tony.

Aus-CSCAP Project Co-Chairs

  • Professor Anthony Milner AM
  • Mr Ric Smith AO, PSM

The Australian Member Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (Aus-CSCAP) was established by Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) at the Australian National University, as one of the founding members of CSCAP.

Aus-CSCAP has some 150 members, including former and current officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Department of Defence, individuals from a dozen University and other research centres throughout Australia, Members of Parliament, journalists, and senior executives from Australian industry.

The Committee meets twice a year, to consider the major security issues facing Australia in the region. Aus-CSCAP members are also active in the various CSCAP Study Groups.

Australian Ministers of Defence have addressed AusCSCAP meetings on numerous occasions. Mr Andrews address the May 2015 meeting at a luncheon (held jointly with Asialink) in Melbourne.

The biennial CSCAP General Conference has been an opportunity for Australia to influence the agenda of regional discussions and has been used in the past by the Australian Foreign Minister to make important keynote addresses in the region.

The network of officials, media, military and academic representatives that make up the membership of CSCAP provides Australia with an opportunity to influence attitudes and debate in the region on a range of foreign policy issues. We believe it also assists more broadly to build Australia into Asian regional processes.

The CSCAP network has assisted the development, for instance, of the ‘Asialink Conversations’ and also helped in inaugurating the Australia/New Zealand Dialogue with ASEAN-ISIS, the influential ASEAN network that had not in the past been open to such a formal relationship with Australia.

CSCAP is a non-governmental (second track) organisation to encourage discussion and dialogue on security issues in the Asia Pacific. Membership in CSCAP is on an institutional basis and consists of Member Committees. Current membership comprises Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the USA.

The functions of CSCAP are as follows:

  1. to provide an informal mechanism by which political and security issues can be discussed by scholars, officials, and others in their private capacities;
  2. to encourage the participation of such individuals from countries and territories in the Asia Pacific on the basis of the principle of inclusiveness;
  3. to organize various study groups to address security issues and challenges facing the region;
  4. to provide policy recommendations to various intergovernmental bodies on political-security issues;
  5. to convene regional and international meetings and other cooperative activities for the purpose of discussing political-security issues;
  6. to establish linkages with institutions and organizations in other parts of the world to exchange information, insights and experiences in the area of regional political-security cooperation; and
  7. to produce and disseminate publications relevant to the other purposes of the organization.

Study groups are the primary mechanism for CSCAP activity. At the beginning of 2013, there were several on-going CSCAP Study Groups. These are concerned with: (i) Countering the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Asia Pacific; (ii) Expert Group on Export Control of Nuclear Material; and (iii) Multilateral Security Governance in the North-east Asia/North Pacific. Other Study Groups such as (i) Cyber security; (ii) Security of Submarine Cables; (iii) Regional Security Architecture; and (iv) Humanitarian and Disaster Relief, are envisaged or recently concluded. Some 22 Study Groups have had their recommendations considered at Track One (ie.,inter-governmental) level since inauguration of CSCAP.

The people involved in this project are listed below.

Dr Ron Huisken

Editor, CSCAP Regional Security Outlook (CRSO)

Dr. Ron Huisken is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre. He has had a distinguished career in foreign...

Emeritus Prof Anthony Milner

Co-Chair, AusCSCAP

Tony Milner is an historian specializing on Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia and Indonesia, and on regional relations. After having been a member of the Department...

Sean Singh

Administrator, AusCSCAP

ric smith

Ric Smith AO PSM

Co-Chair, AusCSCAP

Richard Campbell (Ric) Smith AO PSM was born in Perth and educated at State Schools and the University of Western Australia, from which he graduated BA, B Ed. He taught...


Related events

51st meeting - The Australian National University, Canberra, 12 June 2019

The 51st meeting of the Australian Member Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (AusCSCAP) was held at The Australian National University, in Canberra on 12 June 2019.

50th meeting - University of Western Australia, Perth, 29 - 30 November 2018

The 50th meeting of the Australian Member Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (AusCSCAP) was held in association with the US Asia Centre at the University of Western Australia, in Perth on 29 and 30 November 2018.

From left: Ambassador Lyn Khun Maung (Myanmar), The Hon. Julie Bishop, MP Mr Richard Smith – Co-chair, AusCSCAP and Ambassador Wiryono Sastrohandayo (Indonesia)

49th meeting - ANU, Canberra, 15 June 2018

The theme was ‘India’s Act East Policy - Implications for Australia.

48th meeting - Sydney - 14 March 2018

The 48th meeting of AusCSCAP was held in Sydney on 14 March 2018 in association with the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA). The theme was ‘the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) at 25’.

The meeting followed the ASEAN-Australia Dialogue held in Sydney on the previous day, one of several major events surrounding the Australian Government’s first ASEAN-Australia Special Summit (17-18 March 2018). The Dialogue involved nine universities and institutes from across Australia - including AusCSCAP - and attracted senior analysts and specialists from ASEAN.

AusCSCAP took advantage of their presence in Sydney in holding our meeting the day after the Dialogue. The ASEAN participants included - Ambassador Ong Keng Yong of Singapore; Ambassador Astanah Abdul Aziz of Malaysia; Dr Philipps Vermonte from Indonesia; Dr Dang Cam Tu from Vietnam, and Mr Kavi Chongkittavorn, editor of the Myanmar Times.

Regional Architecture Panel – ASEAN-Australia Dialogue 13 Mar 2018. Prof Nick Bisley, La Trobe University, Dr Dang Cam Tu, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, Prof Anthony Milner, Aus-CSCAP, Amb Astanah Abdul Aziz, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia, Dr Sheryn Lee, Macquarie University

Security Panel at the ASEAN-Australia Dialogue 14 Mar 2018 Dr Sue Thompson, Australian National University, Mr Ric Smith, Aus-CSCAP, Dr Marty Natalegawa, Former Indonesian Foreign Minister

47th meeting - ANU, Canberra - 3 October 2017

The theme was ‘Rules-based Order’.

46th meeting - ANU, Canberra - 28 June 2017

The theme was ‘How can Australia build further on our strategic relations in Asia’.

45th meeting - ANU, Canberra - 21 February 2017

The theme was ‘Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper’.

44th meeting - ANU, Canberra - 24 August 2016

The theme was ‘Indonesia’s Maritime Concept: Intent, Implications, and Scope’.

43rd meeting - ANU, Canberra - 16 October 2015

The 43rd meeting of AusCSCAP was held at ANU in Canberra on 16 October 2015. The theme was ‘Regional Security Architecture and the Role of Track 2’.

42nd meeting - Melbourne - 22 May 2015

The 42nd meeting of AusCSCAP was held at the Sofitel Hotel in Melbourne in association with Asialink of Melbourne University, on 22 May 2015. The theme- ‘Agreeing a xRule-based Order in the Asia Pacific- The South China Sea and Other Issues’.

41st meeting - ANU, Canberra - 19 December 2014

The 41st meeting of AusCSCAP was held at ANU on 19 December 2014 in conjunction with ASPI. The theme was ‘Strengthening the rules-based order in the Asia Pacific- perspectives from ASEAN, Japan and Australia

40th meeting - ANU, Canberra - 9 May 2014

AusCSCAP’s 40th meeting was held at ANU in Canberra on 9 May 2014 on the theme of ‘The Balance between Traditional and Non-traditional Security Challenges: Regional Perspectives on Implications for Defence Co-operation.

39th meeting - University of Darwin, Darwin - 28 October 2013

AusCSCAP’s 39th meeting was held at the University of Darwin, in Darwin on 28 October 2013 on the theme “US Rebalancing and Southeast Asia- enhanced co-operation with Indonesia.

38th meeting - ANU, Canberra - 22 March 2013

AusCSCAP’s 38th meeting was held at ANU in Canberra on 22 March 2013 on the theme “Australia’s Regional Positioning in the Asian Century: Asia Pacific Perspectives”.

New York launch of policy proposals for strengthening the rule of law through the UN security council

An ARC linkage led by Dr. Jeremy Farrall and Prof. Hilary Charlesworth launch the Policy Proposals which aim to enhance the Security Council’s capacity to strengthen the rule of law.

The Hon. Julie Bishop at the CSCAP meeting in Perth in November 2018.

Australian ambitions – regional reactions

As America becomes relatively weaker and more ambivalent about the value of allies, it makes sense for Australia to work hard on its other regional partnerships.

Is the Indo-Pacific just a geographic region, or something more?

The Australian Government’s use of the terms ‘Indo-pacific’ and ‘rules-based-order’ have come under question at the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) meeting held recentl

25th ASEAN Regional Forum Retreat in August 2018. Singapore (Photo: US Department of State/Flickr)

ASEAN Regional Forum: less might be more


CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2017 cover.

CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2017

Established in 1993, the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) is the premier Track Two organization in the Asia Pacific region and counterpart to the Track One processes dealing with security...

CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2016 cover

CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2016

Established in 1993, the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) is the premier Track Two organization in the Asia Pacific region and counterpart to the Track One processes dealing with security...

CSCAP Regional Security Outlook 2015

The Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) is the region’s leading Track Two (non-official) organisation for promoting cooperation and dialogue on regional security issues. CSCAP was established...

CSCAP Publications

The ideas and suggestions expressed by individuals from CSCAP member committees throughout the region at study group meetings are often published and circulated to regional decision and policy makers; particularly in the ARF, to provide a stimulus for further consideration and possible implementation.

The outcomes and recommendations of the various study groups, which are provided for Track 1 consideration, are summarised in the various CSCAP Memoranda.

Aus-CSCAP Publications

  1. Greg Raymond, Prospects for the Rules-Based Global Order, 2017
  2. Tony Milner & Ron Huisken, Smaller, but enmeshed: Why Australia needs to make ASEAN an even stronger priority, 2017
  3. Asia’s Trend and Temperature
  4. ‘Australia in the Asian Century-Strategic Implications’, March 2013, Australian National University
  5. On a track to regional peace WITH CSCAP
  6. From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific: Rising Powers, Emerging Regions and Transformations in Governance’ Sept 2012 Adeilaide University (Meeting Booklet PDF 627KB)
  7. ‘Strategic Regional Architecture’, March 2012 Australian National University Meeting Booklet PDF 337KB; Record PDF 121KB)
  8. ‘Indo-Pacific seen from Western Australia’, Curtin University, Perth, West Australia, Nov 2012 (Meeting Booklet PDF 81KB; Record PDF 116KB)

Study groups

CSCAP’s Study Groups and Experts Groups are the primary mechanism for CSCAP activity. These groups serve as a region-wide multilateral fora for consensus-building and problem solving and often address specific issues and problems that are too sensitive for official dialogue.

Study Groups generally meet twice per year and produce policy oriented reports of each meeting. At the completion of their term the Study Groups produce a Memorandum that outlines practical policy-oriented responses for consideration at the Track One (official) level.

Through these Study Groups CSCAP’s research and analyses support and complement the efforts of regional governments and official multilateral dialogue mechanisms, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which routinely brings together senior foreign ministry and defense officials from throughout the Asia-Pacific to discuss regional security issues and concerns.

On-going Study Groups and sub-groups, to which AusCSCAP regularly sends representatives:

Concluded study groups](

Mr Sean Singh
Administrator - AusCSCAP
Strategic & Defence Studies Centre ANU College of Asia & the Pacific
T 61 2 6125 9979

Aus-CSCAP Co-Chairs

Mr Ric Smith AO, PSM

Professor Anthony Milner
Basham Professor of Asian History
ANU School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific
The Australian National University

CSCAP Regional Security Outlook (CRSO) Editor

Assoc. Professor Ron Huisken
Strategic & Defence Studies Centre
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
The Australian National University

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